Microsoft’s instructions for disabling AutoRun in Windows XP, which I referred to last week, pointed to an incorrect Registry key.
It’s easy to find the correct key, however, and understanding this Registry tweak can give you fine-grained control over the kinds of external media that AutoRun is allowed to work on.
Last week’s Top Story covered Microsoft’s delay in releasing an AutoRun patch for Windows XP and Server 2003. Many people want to disable AutoRun entirely, because when it runs the autorun.inf file that’s often found on CDs, USB drives, and other removable media, your machine can silently become infected. Prior to the patch, Microsoft’s official method for disabling AutoRun could be circumvented by hackers.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article about disabling AutoRun included some misinformation. The document specified a location in the Registry that can be used to disable AutoRun, but the location exists only in Vista. The key is in a different branch of the Registry in XP.
To clarify the process of configuring XP’s AutoRun settings, I’ve created a Web page with screenshots to help explain the steps once and for all.
Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 460,000 subscribers!
Subscribe and get our monthly bonuses - free!
The Windows 7 Guide, Volume 3: Advanced maintenance and troubleshooting provides advanced tools for keeping Microsoft's premier operating system up and running smoothly. Get this excerpt and other 4 bonuses if you subscribe FREE now!